Labour’s bright idea is to tax Internet users!

March 5th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

NBR reports:

This morning, a strategy document written by associate information and communications technology (ICT) spokesperson was accidentally sent to ICT Minister Amy Adams’ Office, Ms Curran says (though not by her specifically).

That’s the second time they have done that, it seems. Taking open data to a new level!

The document is here.

Stuff reports:

Telecom is bristling at the suggestion Labour could impose a “content levy” on internet providers.

Labour was left red-faced today after MP Clare Curran’s ideas on ICT policy were accidentally emailed to her National Party counterpart, Communications Minister Amy Adams.

These include imposing a revenue-based levy on telecommunications carriers to create a contestable fund to support the “creation and accessible distribution of New Zealand digital content”.

This is a tax on telcos and ISPs. That is effectively a tax on Internet users, as it would be passed on. So Labour is thinking of taxing people to use the Internet, and give the money to “content producers”.

One might wonder if it would be used to help fund programmes by broadcasting Icons like Brendan Horan, Tamati Coffey, Shane Taurima, Martin Bradbury, Fran Mold, Kris Faafoi and Matt McCarten!

The Herald further reports:

The minister said she only had a brief look at the documents but it appeared that Labour’s main idea was to start all their policies with the word Kiwi.

Ms Curran’s document outlined plans for policies called KiwiMap, KiwiCode, KiwiCall, KiwiCap, KiwiCloud and Kiwis Come Home.

Maybe they could call their levy plan, !

What is even more interesting is where all these policy ideas came from. I understand that they are very similiar to policies that will be announced by the Internet/DotCom Party and that they may have been discussed between Dotcom and Curran. The purpose being to have policy alignment between the parties, so they could be endorsed when he winds his party up just before the election and asks his supporters to vote for whichever parties he endorses.

So a simple question is whether these policy ideas were ever discussed with , and what input has he had into them.

UPDATE: Vodafone also is against Labour’s idea to tax us all more through our ISPs:

Vodafone chief executive Russell Stanners described the proposed levy as “crazy and outrageous”.

“Labour should go the whole hog and nationalise everything,” he said. “The document also says multiple networks are wasteful. Why don’t we go for one network, one TV company, one bank, so there is no wastage, and then you can have as many levies as you want.”

I am worried that Labour may take up Stanners ironic suggestion and adopt it as serious policy.

UPDATE2: Clare Curran has been unfairly maligned as responsible for the accidental e-mail leak. She silently took one for the team, but it has been revealed it was actually a staff member in David Cunliffe’s office who sent it out. It seems it was Irish Bill, so that is not a good week for The Standard with one blogger sending Labour party policies to National and the other being the genius behind Cunliffe’s secret trust!

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50 Responses to “Labour’s bright idea is to tax Internet users!”

  1. dime (9,607 comments) says:

    Is this woman a fucking retard?

    Are they still that out of touch that they don’t know how adding “kiwi” to the something is now a complete joke?

    Then there is the things she actually wants to create. Fucking loony tunes.

    Go back to your “save the highlanders jersey” campaign lady

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  2. Manolo (13,514 comments) says:

    Curran should be ashamed of making these proposals. It goes to show the old socialist Labour Party has learnt sweet fuck all and it wants to extract as much tax as possible from unsuspecting citizens.

    The Dunedin MP is a disgrace and a danger to the business community and NZ people.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Curran is Kim DotCom’s fifth-columnist and on the German’s payroll.

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  3. Harriet (4,607 comments) says:

    “…..This is a tax on telcos and ISPs. That is effectively a tax on Internet users, as it would be passed on. So Labour is thinking of taxing people to use the Internet, and give the money to “content producers”…..”

    ‘Content producers’ means one thing – PRAVDA!

    TVNZ – all over again!

    Talk about getting access to kids – iphones, ipads, smart tv, SCHOOL COMPUTERS.

    Fuck that.

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  4. emmess (1,386 comments) says:

    Ms Curran’s document outlined plans for policies called KiwiMap, KiwiCode, KiwiCall, KiwiCap, KiwiCloud and Kiwis Come Home.

    Seriously, you couldn’t make this shit up.
    There are countless posts on this site and others mocking KiwiWhatever but none half as ridiculous as KiwiCloud or KiwiMap.
    Why the fuck would you raise an new tax for something that is already being provided as a free service?

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  5. b1gdaddynz (279 comments) says:

    Never Go Full Retard! Although this seems to be the SOP for Labour these days.

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  6. Yoza (1,652 comments) says:

    dime (8,491 comments) says:
    March 5th, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Is this woman a fucking retard?

    Are they still that out of touch that they don’t know how adding “kiwi” to the something is now a complete joke?

    Says he while commenting on Kiwiblog.

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  7. dime (9,607 comments) says:

    Free amount of digital storage for every kiwi! LMAO

    I know “kiwis” have trouble accessing google drive, dropbox, onedrive etc.. and claire can be trusted more than an evil corporation!

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  8. b1gdaddynz (279 comments) says:

    What they don’t get is that most New Zealanders want less Government not more they really should stop just polling their supporters and do some actually bloody research. They are getting more and more out of touch everyday. I guess given that a lot of them have never worked in the “real” world it shouldn’t be out of touch. They are an embarrassment and I am ashamed to admit that I used to vote for them; mind you then I grew up!

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  9. queenstfarmer (750 comments) says:

    There’s nothing stopping Labour supporters from making a voluntary $10 per month “Digital Content Levy” payment to the IRD now, if they think it’s such a great idea.

    Also, for all those people who think it’s so unfair that iTunes etc don’t collect GST on behalf of the NZ Govt, there’s nothing stopping them from making a voluntarily GST payment directly to the IRD.

    I wonder how many Labour & Green supporters do that?

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  10. James Stephenson (2,076 comments) says:

    I’m wondering if their definition of “carriers” encompasses the “Over the Tops” like Apple, Google and Facebook. It would certainly fit with the “ban Facebook” episode a few weeks ago.

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  11. RRM (9,597 comments) says:

    :lol: LOL

    What’s wrong with these people?

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  12. Roflcopter (444 comments) says:

    Bet you anything “KiwiCloud” is an offer by Kim Dotcom to provide storage at a “special” rate…. “special” being if you can help me not get extradited to the U.S, i’ll be ever so grateful.

    “Kiwis Come Home” – the last thing they’ll be wanting to do if this stuff became real.

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  13. ShawnLH (4,319 comments) says:

    Any connections between DotCon and Labour should be investigated. Do we know yet who are the secret funders of Cunliffe? Why does Labour’s policy bear such resemblence to the DC’s internet party????

    WHO IS THE REAL MONEY BEHIND LABOUR???????

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  14. Harriet (4,607 comments) says:

    From the document:

    “……The document also raises the idea of the KiwiCap – or a fixed amount of bandwidth for every citizen, provided to some as a benefit. The amoung of gigabytes would be determined by the Commerce Commission…..”

    She wants to limit the amount of bandwidth for every citizen – after taxing it – and then redistribute it.

    COMMUNICATION IS NOW LIMITED BETWEEN CITIZENS.

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  15. Mrs Trellis (34 comments) says:

    “Says he while commenting on Kiwiblog”.

    Kiwiblog was first :)

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  16. Jack5 (4,780 comments) says:

    Labour hasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of forming a Government after October.

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  17. Brian Smaller (4,016 comments) says:

    “Says he while commenting on Kiwiblog”.

    Kiwiblog was first :)

    I suspect that it will be nationalised under Labour.

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  18. Roflcopter (444 comments) says:

    “Says he while commenting on Kiwiblog”.

    Kiwiblog was first :)

    I suspect that it will be nationalised under Labour.

    … to become KiwiKiwiBlog

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  19. Rich Prick (1,600 comments) says:

    So Labour’s policies are written in Coatesville.

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  20. Pete George (23,149 comments) says:

    Labour could package all their policies under one name – KiwiCockup.

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  21. Ed Snack (1,773 comments) says:

    Land of the long white kiwicloud ? Or is that too racist these days…

    Here’s a new one for Claire, Kiwiclown, can be used to describe their “dear leader”. Tell me, is Claire part of the ABC group, if so, this could be not entirely an accident…

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  22. Fisiani (976 comments) says:

    How much did Crim Dot Com pay The Cunliffe Trust to get Labour internet policies aligned with his thoughts.

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  23. DJP6-25 (1,295 comments) says:

    For the good of the country, more of this is needed from Labour.

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  24. Ashley Schaeffer (430 comments) says:

    KiwiJesus wept. I’d be embarrassed to tell people I was a Labour supporter if this is the level of intelligence on offer. And emailing your strategy documents to the opposition…. really fucking techno-savvy stuff there. There should be a tax on stupidity.

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  25. NoCash (256 comments) says:

    Labour should rename itself to KiwiParty or KiwiLabour.

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  26. OneTrack (2,743 comments) says:

    “Labour should go the whole hog and nationalise everything,” ”

    After reading that document, you now know that they want to.

    KiwiCommunism.

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  27. thePeoplesFlag (212 comments) says:

    This policy is just a clever updated way to collect a broadcasting fee, one that can be collected easily and at source by the ISPs on behalf of the government.

    Former TVNZ chief executive Julian Mounter was recently in the papers for warning the British not to follow our broadcasting funding policies. In this country, the dire state of news and current affairs (as well as the total lack of quality local drama and documentaries on our screens) can squarely be laid at the feet of the lack of an independent and reliable funding stream for a state broadcasting entity. With the move to Netflix like services, a levy on ISPs to fund public content makes great sense. Imagine if TVNZ & RNZ had the breadth of online and broadcast coverage (and all for free to consumers) that the BBC has! Quality at last!

    Of course local Vodafail satrap Russell Stanners isn’t happy at the idea of the state taking some of the money he shovels off to his overseas boss. His job depends on how good he is at enriching the foreign owners of Vodafail at our expense. Tough shit Russell, STFU. Otherwise when the government changes you might find your bosses are looking for a new CEO who is capable of working with the new government.

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  28. davidp (3,550 comments) says:

    In the US, the entertainment industry pretty much owns the Democratic Party. In return for huge donations and celebrity endorsements, the Democrats legislate anti-piracy measures and IP law to suit the music and film people. Charging internet users and giving the money to the entertainment industry is an idea that has been bouncing around there for a long while.

    Now it looks like the entertainment industry has captured Labour in NZ and are pushing the same rent-seeking policies.

    I understand that Labour are angling for donations, and they love having media people and actors endorsing them and the Greens. But the internet is all-pervasive now. Most people won’t want to be taxed (twice if you have broadband at home and a mobile phone) to support a bunch of luvvies and big entertainment companies. Couple this policy with the Facebook ban and you have a party that seems to have declared war on the internet. Which pretty much means they’ve declared war on modern life.

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  29. redqueen (509 comments) says:

    Seriously, DPF, Labour could nationalise with Kiwiblog with a mentality like this…it’s all just public property in their fantasy land.

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  30. thePeoplesFlag (212 comments) says:

    The Labour document is actually quite visionary, in that it imagines a digital world where all New Zealanders can take an active part in the online life of the nation. Kiwiblog commentators need to update their imaginations and lose the blinkers of their bitter ideological bigotry.

    Digital access is now a basic human right for all New Zealanders. Try getting a passport if you live in Gisborne without the internet. Try getting your birth certificate if you live in Napier if you don’t have the internet. Access to many government services in now preferably only via the internet, with an overloaded free phone service the only other option. The provision of a basic level of access for free to the internet is great idea to replace the outdated 1980s “free” local area calling. Either by a free basic amount of data or via requiring all ISPs to provide free access to, say, all .govt.nz sites this basic right to digital citizenship has to been addressed.

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  31. chris (584 comments) says:

    @thePeoplesFlag

    I read that article about funding too. What the article didn’t bother to think about was whether the money comes directly from the government or via a levy on televisions, it’s still just money. It’s what you do with the money that counts. It wasn’t the move from a broadcasting fee to government funding that has ended up with crap publicly funded TV. TV has quite simply become more and more crap over time. On the other hand, I always laugh at people who go on about “quality” TV. What’s the stuff that rates the best? Surely that’s the stuff that should get the funding? And it’s not the “quality” stuff that rates the best.

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  32. Monique Angel (258 comments) says:

    Oh hold me back! To the newbie above: everyone has access to the Internet. They just have to get off their couch and walk to the library. FFS

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  33. Manolo (13,514 comments) says:

    The Labour document is actually quite visionary, in that it imagines a digital world where all New Zealanders can take an active part in the online life of the nation. Kiwiblog commentators need to update their imaginations and lose the blinkers of their bitter ideological bigotry.

    @comrade thePeoplesFlag: Yes, your mate Kim Jong il repeats the same tripe to the impoverished peasants of North Korea.

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  34. unaha-closp (1,130 comments) says:

    The Labour document is actually quite visionary, in that it imagines a digital world where all New Zealanders can take an active part in the online life of the nation.

    Increasing its price and restricting its content makes the internet more accessible?

    backs away slowly…

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  35. Rich Prick (1,600 comments) says:

    It is a pity thePeopleFlag has such difficult access to the internet. I worry that we might be missing out on some pearls of wisdom.

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  36. Kimble (4,392 comments) says:

    Digital access is now a basic human right for all New Zealanders.

    Then a computer is also a basic human right; can’t access the internet without one. Labour should make computers free!

    Of course, you will need a modem. More free stuff!

    But why stop there! Electricity is needed to power the computer, so that should be free too!

    And then what happens if your modem or computer breaks? Well the government cant have your basic human right infringed upon, so it will have to replace them or risk being condemned by North Korea. Free maintenance of hardware!

    This is fun!

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  37. dime (9,607 comments) says:

    Kiwis Come Home – is that the last initiative to get “kiwis” back before they close the borders?

    Cause ya know their ideas are so awesome they will have to prevent people from leaving.

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  38. dime (9,607 comments) says:

    Did they mention “kiwi phone”? it will run a forked version of android called “kiwi droid”.

    The “kiwi app store” will host all sorts of claire approved “kiwi apps”.

    Apart from the apps already mentioned, every union will have its on app so you can stay up to date with whats going on.

    The goal is to have 100 apps available to ordinary new zealanders by 2025

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  39. AG (1,795 comments) says:

    I understand that they are very similiar to policies that will be announced by the Internet/DotCom Party and that they may have been discussed between Dotcom and Curran. The purpose being to have policy alignment between the parties, so they could be endorsed when he winds his party up just before the election and asks his supporters to vote for whichever parties he endorses.

    Hang on – wasn’t the conspiracy theory that Russel Norman promised Dotcom he wouldn’t be extradited, so that the Greens would get the votes of a party that doesn’t even exist and will likely never rise about about 0.4% of the population?

    My goodness, it is difficult keeping up with all the fevered gossip that flies around Windytown.

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  40. Pete George (23,149 comments) says:

    This document leak story gets more bizarre. It’s now been admitted the leak was from Cunliffe’s office, and Clare Curran said she took responsibility even though she was not responsible.

    Labour ICT doc sent from Cunliffe’s office

    Labour has confirmed that documents on its information technology strategy accidentally sent to the Government came from David Cunliffe’s office, not Clare Curran’s as widely reported yesterday.

    Curran, the Dunedin South MP, yesterday gave reporters copies of an email saying the documents had been accidentally sent from her office to that of Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams.

    The documents contained many policy ideas and speech notes signalling plans to announce free computers for pupils in low-decile schools.

    Labour’s chief press secretary, Simon Cunliffe, last night confirmed that the email sent in error came not from Curran’s office but from that of the Labour leader.

    Simon Cunliffe would not say who the staffer was.

    Curran today denied that the media had been misled, saying they had not listened to what she had said.

    She had decided to “take responsibility” for the email breach even though she had no authority over the staff member involved.

    “Because I don’t want a staff member to get the blame for a mistake, and I think that’s really important,” she said.

    “I think a member of Parliament or minister or whatever should take responsibility. Nobody forced me to do it.

    “The judgment was made that it would be used against us, and so I’ve fronted up and taken it on the front foot and taken responsibility for that.”

    Strike four. At least.

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  41. Kimble (4,392 comments) says:

    AG ~ scoff scoff ~ Why would BOTH the Greens AND Labour be cosying up to someone who could deliver 0.4%? Its obvious that as soon as ONE party made an offer to Dotcom that all the others would honor that iron clad agreement and desist from doing the same!

    I mean, it makes NO SENSE that two political parties would BOTH be trying to schmooze up to Dotcom.

    What world are you living in?

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  42. Rich Prick (1,600 comments) says:

    “She had decided to “take responsibility” for the email breach even though she had no authority over the staff member involved. Because I don’t want a staff member to get the blame for a mistake, and I think that’s really important,” she said.”

    Or in other words: I was thrown under a bus, but then word got out that the boss did the dirty on me, and now I’m just trying to make it all look plausible.

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  43. Pete George (23,149 comments) says:

    Did Matt McMarvel sweet talk Curran into taking one for the team? I presume he’s supposed to be running Cunliffe’s office now.

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  44. RightNow (6,780 comments) says:

    @the PeepholesFlag –

    The provision of a basic level of access for free to the internet is great idea to replace the outdated 1980s “free” local area calling.

    “Free” local area calling still required line and handset rental, otherwise you’d have to walk down the payphone and pay 6c.
    There are ISP’s now that will provide you with a connection and free national traffic for less than line rental used to cost. Which makes your ‘visionary’ Labour ideas just outdated and redundant.

    Ain’t the free market wonderful?

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  45. burt (7,948 comments) says:

    There is no end to the constant growth of ways to extract tax from people to fund the glorious state.

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  46. Raphael (75 comments) says:

    As he is a content creator and owner of NZ’s most popular blog (award winning even) does this mean under Labour the Government will be paying Whale Oil?

    Something tells me Labour once again didn’t think things through……

    (no slur on Whale at all as I happily contribute to his reader stats)

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  47. burt (7,948 comments) says:

    Raphael

    I think it’s unlikely WhaleOil will be funded by this – He’s not an affiliated union of the labour party.

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  48. chris (584 comments) says:

    Naturally they would only divvy out the funds raised to their pet projects. The rest of us who create NZ relevant content (I do, for example) wouldn’t get a look see.

    Note that I don’t want any Government money for my websites; they stand or fall on their own merits and ability to attract visitors and advertisers. And nor do I see any reason other content creators should get Government money.

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  49. Steve (North Shore) (4,517 comments) says:

    Rich Prick,
    “So Labour’s policies are written in Coatesville.”
    Are you thinking that Crim dot Con is getting a United Nations backhander?

    Would not suprise me at all

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  50. Jack5 (4,780 comments) says:

    Wellington academic supporting this Leftist crap idea says Spain and France have been using such a levy to help fund public broadcasting.

    That is, or would be in NZ’s case, subsidising the Leftist media.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/technology/30020861/Labours-content-levy-would-hardly-be-noticed

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